Put it in perspective 

So I think I’ve written previously about how I believe Ri was my mom in a past life. Actually, I’m not a believer or non-believer in reincarnation – who knows what’s in store for us at the end of this crazy life. But I remember reading Shirley MacLaine’s book and her writing that she believed her daughter was her mother in a past life (at least I think that’s what she said after all these years). That passage stuck with me when I read it and it feels relevant on so many occasions with Ri. I sometimes wonder if I’m teaching her half of what she is teaching me.

She had picture day this morning. She was up all night coughing and hacking with the ugly virus that the rest of us have had this month. When she woke up, her nose was Rudolph red and her eyes were swollen. Nonetheless, she got dressed and turned on her flat iron for me to straighten her hair. She never complained about how she looked or felt. To the contrary, after she found an outfit to wear, she smiled and commented “I really like this on me.”

As I did her hair and brushed some powder on her face to try to tone down the redness, I told her I was sorry she felt bad. She shrugged her shoulders and looked in the mirror. She gave me the smile she’d give for pictures. Beautiful. Then she blew her nose hard into the tissue laying on the sink and went down for breakfast.

Lesson taught: put it in perspective. It’s just class pictures. She’s healthy, got a cute outfit, biking to school rather than walking, and gets Cocoa Krispies for breakfast. Others may be freaking out (I think back to me at that age and I’m quite sure a meltdown may have occurred) but she goes with the flow. 

And as work explodes through the day, I will think of her and put it in perspective. I’ve got a good lunch waiting for me, I got to bike to work, I got a shower this morning, and I have two incredible kids who keep me aware of what matters. 

  

The Turning Point

My secluded pneumonia room

Since I have been sick, I have had every opportunity to watch movies, reality tv, soap operas….  Unfortunately, there is only one tv show that I like (30 Roc).  I typically love movies but I got sick at the worst time of year – when all of the new releases are horrible!  I get to pick from Adam Sandler’s Grown Ups, The Karate Kid, Back-Up Plan (another Jennifer Aniston movie), and Ramona and Beezus.  In bed all day and that is as good as it gets.  Luckily, we get 10 million other channels that I rarely ever review but in my state of desperation at 6 pm last night, I flipped through them and found the Turning Point with my favorite actress of all time, Shirley Maclaine.  If I could go to dinner with any actor or actress, I would choose her in a heartbeat (when my hubby was in California a few years back, he sat near her at a restaurant and got her autograph for me!). 

Shirley's autograph to me!

The Turning Point was a good film.  I loved the ballet scenes and who cannot drool when watching Mikhail Baryshnikov dance – pure beauty.  The last time I saw him dance was in the movie White Nights (great romantic movie).  Anne Bancroft acted well (keeping up with Shirley’s immense talents).  The film did an outstanding job of showing the strain and questioning  that arises when a woman is faced with a career or a family.  Shirley Maclaine acted fabulously in the role of an ex-dancer who chose to have a baby and ultimately give up dancing.  She continues to mull over her decision for the rest of her life.  Her rival, Anne Bancroft, chose to dance and ultimately give up the notion of a family and kids.  The movie shows us both perspectives, and ultimately, how there is no right answer in the end.  There is a bit of futility and wasted energy in second guessing it for the rest of your life although that does not mean that there won’t be those moments that strike right at your heart and make you long to be back in the moment again.  

Maria excited about ballet class!

Maria wanted to take ballet when she was three years old.  The teacher at the Rec Center was rather domineering and strict, especially for three-year olds.  Maria did not particularly take to that type of personality, and therefore, did not last more than a couple of sessions.  She did look daggone cute though…